In this panel discussion, STS members exchange viewpoints on a new study that found patients with postoperative PE had increased 30-day mortality, reintubation, and readmission rates, which was presented at the 2024 STS Annual Meeting.

10 min

In this short video, STS members exchange viewpoints on a new study that found patients with postoperative PE had increased 30-day mortality, reintubation, and readmission rates, which was presented at the 2024 STS Annual Meeting.

Robbin Cohen, MD, Cedars-Sinai at Huntington Hospital, is joined by the study’s lead author, Andrea L. Axtell, MD, MPH, an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Michael Smith, MD, Norton Thoracic Institute, St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center, and John Mitchell, MD, University of Colorado Health, to discuss the research methodology, findings and impact on improving patient care. 

Apr 2, 2024
1 min read


In the fast-paced environment of healthcare, hospitals face significant challenges related to medical records. The increasing number of missing documents in electronic medical records (EMR) can pose obstacles to case abstraction and risk adjustment. This case study reveals the EMR challenges Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital faced and the steps the data team took to improve document management and overall performance. 


Boone Health, based in Columbia, Missouri, set out to address issues related to the appropriate discontinuation of antibiotics within 48 hours after cardiovascular surgery. This case study examines the obstacles, actions, and results led by an interdisciplinary team approach.

FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA (March 11, 2024) - As use of prosthetic heart valves and implanted cardiac devices has increased, so too has the incidence of cardiovascular infection. While accurate diagnosis of this condition is critical for guiding treatment decisions that can prevent death and significant morbidity, current assessment strategies have proven insufficient. Recommendations released by 11 professional medical societies, including the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, detail a standardized approach for using PET/CT and SPECT/CT imaging to improve the evaluation and subsequent outcomes of patients with cardiovascular infection. The expert consensus statement – “18F-FDG PET/CT and Radiolabeled Leukocyte SPECT/CT Imaging for the Evaluation of Cardiovascular Infection in the Multimodality Context” – is published online in the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology, Clinical Infectious Disease, Heart Rhythm Journal, and JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging.

“The stakes are high with cardiovascular infection because the incidence is increasing and there is associated high morbidity and mortality,” says Jamieson M. Bourque, MD, MHS, FASNC, chair of the statement’s multisociety writing committee. “Other guidelines have recognized that FDG PET/CT and SPECT/CT imaging have high diagnostic accuracy with cardiovascular infection and can provide important information on the infection site, severity, cause, and whether the infection has spread outside the heart. This document does what others have not – it provides evidence-based consensus on specific clinical scenarios where FDG PET/CT and SPECT/CT add value for patient care in the context of robust multimodality imaging approaches available.”

Reflecting its multidisciplinary authorship, the statement emphasizes the complementary nature of advanced imaging modalities. It outlines the indications for echocardiography, cardiac computed tomography angiography, radiolabeled leukocyte SPECT/CT and 18F-FDG PET/CT in cardiovascular infection evaluation. The authors then provide a consensus-derived clinical indication rating of "appropriate," "may be appropriate," or "rarely appropriate" for use of 18F-FDG PET/CT and SPECT/CT in 73 clinical scenarios encompassing suspected native and prosthetic valve infective endocarditis, suspected cardiovascular implantable electronic device (CIED) infections, suspected prosthetic material infection, and suspected ventricular assist device (VAD) infection.

The expert consensus recommendations statement also includes:

  • Diagnostic algorithmic flowcharts for suspected native or prosthetic valve infective endocarditis or prosthetic material/VAD infection and for suspected CIED infection;
  • Teaching images from cases where 18F-FDG PET/CT and SPECT/CT studies were used in  prosthetic valve endocarditis, CIED pocket and lead infection, VAD infection and prosthetic material infection; and
  • Teaching case examples where 18F-FDG PET/CT and SPECT/CT were used to assess prosthetic valve endocarditis, suspected lead CIED infection, suspected VAD infection and suspected prosthetic material infection.

“18F-FDG PET/CT and Radiolabeled Leukocyte SPECT/CT Imaging for the Evaluation of Cardiovascular Infection in the Multimodality Context” is the first document in the new American Society of Nuclear Cardiology Imaging Indications (ASNC I2) Series. Eleven partnering organizations participated in writing these recommendations and endorsed the document: The American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC), the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS), the American College of Cardiology (ACC), the American Heart Association (AHA), the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE), the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM), the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT), the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS). The writing committee included representatives from each of the partnering organizations.

Read the consensus statement. 

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The American Society of Nuclear Cardiology and its 5,200 members have been improving cardiovascular outcomes through image-guided patient management for more than 30 years. As the leading society dedicated solely to the field of nuclear cardiology, ASNC establishes standards for excellence in cardiovascular imaging through the development of clinical guidelines, professional medical education, advocacy and research development. ASNC provides peer-reviewed original articles through its official publication, The Journal of Nuclear Cardiology. For more information, visit


Founded in 1964, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons is a not-for-profit organization representing more than 7,700 cardiothoracic surgeons, researchers, and allied healthcare professionals worldwide who are dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcomes for surgeries of the heart, lung, and esophagus, as well as other surgical procedures within the chest. The Society’s mission is to enhance the ability of cardiothoracic surgeons to provide the highest quality patient care through education, research, and advocacy.

Mar 11, 2024
4 min read
Discussions on valuable research and important clinical findings with the goal of improving data collection and patient outcomes.
Event dates
Sep 11–13, 2024
Nashville, TN
ai and lung cancer screenings
Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer in the U.S. Early detection of lung cancer through low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening has been shown to significantly reduce lung cancer mortality in high-risk populations and is currently recommended annually by the U.S.
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Chi-Fu Jeffrey Yang, MD
lung preservation
While expanding geographic boundaries will ultimately enable better organ and recipient matching, it poses inherent challenges to organ preservation.
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Overall survival rates of esophageal cancer have risen in the past 50-plus years, from 5% in 1970 to 22% in 2023. Yet, no comprehensive guidelines addressing multidisciplinary management of esophageal cancer that incorporate input from surgeons, radiation oncologists, and medical oncologists have been available, until now. 

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, American Society for Radiation Oncology, and American Society of Clinical Oncology have co-authored the first comprehensive guideline on the management of esophageal cancer. Published today in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, the guideline addresses key clinical subject areas pertinent to the care of patients with locally advanced, resectable thoracic esophageal cancer. 

The guideline delivers recommendations for the use of induction chemotherapy, optimal radiation dose, value and timing of esophagectomy, use of chemotherapy vs. chemoradiotherapy before surgery, approach and extent of lymphadenectomy, and the value of adjuvant therapy after resection.

“These comprehensive guidelines address areas critical for standardizing and improving care and outcomes for esophageal cancer patients,” says study investigator Stephanie Worrell, MD, clinical associate professor and thoracic section chief at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “The recommendations are based on a comprehensive review of innovations and advancements in the most recent literature.”

Nov 2, 2023
1 min read
Using largest U.S. Database, study in low-risk patients reveals 5-year survival rate of 93%
Oct 17, 2023